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theoretical (adj) connected with the principle of a subject rather than with its practice; based on mere guess.
A theoretical knowledge of a subject is knowledge of the principles and ideas of the subject rather than of the way the principles are put into practice. Knowledge gathered from the books on the subject, rather than knowing how it can be used or applied is being theoretical.
- He has read about how to drive a car. He has thus the theoretical knowledge of driving. He has not yet driven a car, as he is yet to practice it.
- His knowledge of computers is mostly derived from books. It is theoretical. He cannot carry out all operations on it, though he knows how to do it in theory.